|The idea of Phil Fashions as a line of groundhog souvenirs for Punxsutawney Gifts was conceived in February 2002, the day after Groundhog Day 02-02-02. My mother, who owns the Plantation Getaway, a Bed and Breakfast in one of the oldest homes in Western Pennsylvania, and her friends, started this business, handcrafting the groundhog items for sale. I’ve taken over the business since 2012.
My family and I live just outside the village of Punxsutawney, and my husband, Dave Gigliotti is the Thunder Conductor with the Inner Circle. Dave is a life-long resident of Punxsutawney and has always dreamed of having the honor of being part of the Inner Circle. I came from South Africa, so I had never heard of Groundhog Day until I came to America. At first, I didn't understand the whole idea, not only of a groundhog coming out to predict the weather, but the concept of bringing thousands of people together to liven up their cold miserable winter and brighten it up with a bit of laughter and cheer.
My attitude immediately changed towards this groundhog they call Phil. I saw him as a fun loving hero enjoyed by people from all over the world. It sometimes takes the craziest ideas to bring joy into our lives. So I learned to join in the fun and soon became a Phil fan. Phil brings love, joy and cheer to many people in many ways. Groundhog Day has become the bright spot in my dark western Pennsylvanian winter…with weeks of preparation as my husband gets ready to debut his latest crazy hats and crazy dances on the stage for the Groundhog Day entertainment. Now things have really gone wild because we have PhilFest in the summertime and another opportunity for fun!